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Facebook marketing-update-spring-2011


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Facebook marketing-update-spring-2011

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  2. 2. The Facebook Marketing Update – Spring 2011IntroductionWhen Mark Zuckerberg addressed the audience atFacebook’s 2010 f8 developers conference he deliveredon his promise of “the most transformative thing weveever done for the web”. Zuckerberg’s presentationdidn’t contain much in the way of new goals, theimportant takeaways were the speed and energy withwhich Facebook was now following a direction alreadywell known. At the previous event, with just shy of 100million users, they had announced Facebook Connect tosupport their objective that “social platforms wouldnow focus on the Web, not social networksthemselves”. Now, with more than 400 million users, Facebook was rapidly providing the tools for aWeb that is indexed by personal relationships and preferences. The user will now be at the center oftheir own Web experience and Facebook will be helping them to get there. Links will be supplanted byLikes. Marketers have to look beyond and consider the opportunities being provided totheir own site. Zuckerberg revealed Facebook’s name for the new paradigm: The Open Graph.In the ensuing months Web marketers have seen their to-do lists steadily fed with new items fromFacebook that provide opportunities for their own sites. On August 18 Facebook Places was announcedas an important location based marketing service. An October 13 partnership with Bing gave the OpenGraph greater influence on search results. Facebook Deals became part of the social buying landscapeon November 2. In March 2011 the Like button gained added functionality and a commenting systemwas announced to provide social relevance to Web feedback . Meanwhile Facebook continued toenhance the Pages that businesses use as their home base on eBook looks at the recent opportunities with insights as to how Web marketers can use and benefitfrom them. Facebook now has approximately 600 million users and they most likely know somethingabout your customers. These are some guidelines for an effective partnership.Jeff Ente, DirectorWhos Blogging Whatwww.WhosBloggingWhat.comTwitter: @wbw_JeffFacebook: Who’s Blogging What(Who’s Blogging What is a weekly email newsletter read by Web marketers who work with social media,search, email marketing, user experience and web analytics. You can get a free subscription here. )
  3. 3. The Facebook Marketing Update – Spring 20111. The Facebook Like Button and the Open Graph 1 Mark Spangler2. IFrames for Facebook Page Custom Content 5 Janet Driscoll Miller3. Optimizing the Facebook Page for Search 10 Ann Smarty4. Facebook Contests and Competitions 15 Brian Honigman5. Using Facebook Connect for Ecommerce 18 Linda Bustos6. Facebook Location Based Marketing – Places & Deals 24 Jeff Ente7. Facebook Comments 26 Jeff Ente8. Advertising on Facebook 27 Kelly Gillease
  4. 4. Chapter 1. The Facebook Like Button and the Open GraphMark SpanglerIn 2011 the Facebook Like button has become indispensible for Facebook Like Button:promoting web content. As the year began most sites featured a What it does: Posts to a users news feed that they ‘Like’ specific content alongFacebook Share option and possibly a Like button. Facebook has now with a link back to the content. Alsostopped development on the Share, leaving everyone to focus on Like allows sites to push updates to users who have ‘Liked’ their a means to give their content greater exposure on Facebook and Why it matters: Facebook has stoppedacross the Open Graph. In addition to creating a news feed item and development on the Share functionshowing connected friends, Likes also allow third-party publishers to which will leave Like as the preferred method of sharing content across thesend future updates to those who have Liked their content. This gives Facebook network. Search engines arecontent owners the opportunity to increase engagement levels, using Likes as ranking criteria.targeted referrals and recurring traffic.A Functional Example – The Huffington PostThe Huffington Post is a great example of a site with a strong focus onmaximizing content shares and on optimizing their value once shared.They currently provide the option to Like, Share, Tweet, Email andComment. They also allow users to submit the story to bookmarkingservices and to get email alerts.If a Huffington Post reader is not currently logged into their Facebookaccount they will get a Facebook prompt to sign in and begin usingthe Facebook share features. This occurs on-click of the button (eitherLike or Share). To help drive a better social connection andconversion, Huffington Post provides a targeted message to those who are not logged in to The Huffington Post utilizes Facebook Likes and Shares, along with Tweets and increase conversion in this other sharing options. scenario. If the user is already connected via Facebook (or after they login from the site), Huffpo will recognize their authentication and will update the Like button display with the names (and optionally the faces) of any Friends who have also liked the content (this example is assuming use of the “standard” like button A custom login request will lead to a option). login screen. Page 1
  5. 5. From here, the user can click the Like button which will publish to their news feed and they have the opportunity to add a comment as well.The place to get started with Like functionality where Facebookmaintains an easy to use tool to create the necessary HTML to be pasted intothe Web page.It’s also important to note that a site owner can choose between the verbs“Like” and “Recommend” to use for their button. Regardless of the verb usedfor the button, the actions are the same.There are also multiple variations and style options for the Like button. Theseinclude: standard (with and without faces), button count and box count. Recentreports have shown that sites which use the standard Like button with the‘show faces’ option enabled experience 2-3 times higher click-through ratesthan buttons without faces enabled.Optimizing Content for Sharing Via Open GraphFor best results web pages should beOpen Graph-enabled, using the Open <meta property="og:type" content="article" /> <meta property="og:site_name" content="The Huffington Post"/>Graph Protocol. This enables pages to <meta property="og:title" content="Robert Gates on Libya" />become rich objects in Facebook’s <meta property="fb:app_id" content="46744042133"/>social graph by providing key The Huffington Post uses some, but not all, of the available Facebook <meta>information about the content being tags to format the handling and appearance of their Liked content and toshared. A few simple updates to a Web provide the Open Graph with data describing the content that is being’s <meta> tags will provideinformation about the site for Facebook to use in structuring the news feed postand for registering the page in the Open Graph. Essentially, this information willaffect how the page’s information is displayed on Facebook and how theinformation is organized and indexed. Step by-step directions are available inthe Facebook documentation section. The following is a quick reference guidefor the main tags. Page 2
  6. 6.  og:title: This is the title of the content as it will appear on Facebook.  og:description: This is a one or two sentences describing the object. This is a very important item that provides a chance to make the item appear click-worthy. <meta property="og:description" content="A group of U.S. Marines, under command of a renegade general, take over Alcatraz and threaten San Francisco Bay with biological weapons."/>  og:type: This is the type of object. For example, this could be a website, blog, article, etc. It can also tell Facebook that the content represents something like a musical band, a person or a product category. For certain types other properties may be required. See  og:image: This is the URL to an image that will appear when published in the news feed. It must be at least 50x50px.  og:url: This is the URL of your object and is a permanent ID in the graph. It is where a Facebook user will be directed to if they click on the news feed link. This is also the basis of the counter of Likes and associations.  og:site_name: If this object is part of a larger site, this is the name that should be displayed the to represent the overall site. (e.g. The Huffington Post)  fb:admins or fb:app_id: An application or a user can be marked as the administrator of the page. The fb:admins tag tells Facebook which user account is the administrator for the site.Fortunately, Facebook provides a useful tool for validating these special will check any URL and display theinformation that Facebook is able to collect from the tags along with someoptimization recommendations.The Value of LikesThe Facebook Like function is quickly becoming a requirement for all Web sites.It is the entry point to Facebook’s user base from a piece of content and also hasgrowing effects on search rankings, particularly at Bing. Likes are gainingmomentum on traditional link-back algorithms as a search ranking currency.Setting a page up to be Open Graph-enabled with Like buttons is a great stepalong the roadmap. The Like button will be able to improve the connectedexperience offered to consumers and sites will gain trusted referrals as a result.Many web sites have tried to quantify the value of a Like, usually as comparedto a Tweet. The methodology of the analyses is rarely explained well as manyare still in the experiential and refinement stage of socially calibrating theirsites. Still, the business value of a Like usually comes out ahead when comparedto a Tweet. The event ticketing site Eventbrite has documented that they see Page 3
  7. 7. $1.34 in revenue from a Like as opposed to a Tweet that Insightsaverages $.80. Eventbrite adds that the value of a Like Facebook Insights originally focused onappears to be increasing as the Facebook user base and providing metrics for the planning ofLike button adoption grows. Facebook users who utilize a Facebook Ad campaigns by PageLike button visit 5.3x more Web urls to engage with owners but it has been steadilycontent and on average have 2.4x more Friends. Providing increasing its scope to include feedback for Open Graph partners. In addition tothe Like button on a website gives content creators access activity and demographics on Pageto these more socially engaged consumers and their usage it can now provide feedbacknetworks. regarding social plugins such as Likes and Comments. Sites can track theirImplementing a Like button and enabling an Open Graph Like activity and can determine whichsite structure is a great way to tap into the value of the components are most productive. SitesFacebook user base and social graph. Early reports are using the Comment plugin can also seealready showing the great value a referential Like can impressions, number of comments and the number of times that thedrive to a page over more traditional sharing options. comments were seen and clicked onOverall, it’s important to note that no two sites are the Facebook.same and it’s critical, as shown in the Eventbrite exampleabove, to review your success and failures. The way to Even sites not using the plugins can stilloptimize a site is to review the analytics and results of get data on the number of organic Facebook shares that their content haseach effort and to test variations. Being able to quantify generated. Facebook maintainsthe results, will help make your strategy even more documentation for Insights atconcrete and effective. Like helps start the conversation with some new users,engage existing users, and drive traffic. As you build out your site structure andsocial strategy it’s important that the social share options you implement andtheir available communication streams tie into your company’s overall strategyto engage users appropriately for the long haul. Mark Spangler is Director of Client Services at Stuzo | Dachis Group the world’s largest Social Business consultancy. In his role, Mark works with Fortune 500 companies and global agencies to develop and execute social business and consumer engagement strategies. Mark can be reached at or on Twitter @untagme. . Page 4
  8. 8. Chapter 2. IFrames for Facebook Page Custom ContentJanet Driscoll MillerIn February 2011, Facebook announced several changes regarding iFrames for Facebook Pages: What they do: Allow Web content to bePages, including a significant development in the way that custom maintained on an external server andcontent is produced and tracked. FBML, which is Facebook’s version of presented on a Facebook custom Page.HTML, is going away and custom content can now be presented directly Why they matter: Facebook is deprecating the FBML that has beenfrom almost any web server via an iFrame. The change led to a brand used to code custom pages. IFramesnew set of best practices for custom Page content. allow developers greater freedom, the use of standard tools and they provide marketers with greater tracking capabilities.1. Use your own CSS for style and brandingOne problem with FBML-based pages has been that they frequently do notdisplay Web content the same way that it is rendered outside of Facebook. Thishas been particularly true for the CSS that is used to style Web content.Programming a Facebook page tab inFBML has been much likeprogramming an HTML email — thereare certain style limitations on thingslike backgrounds and more. However,with iFrames the framed contentresides on an external website andPage owners are able to pull stylesdirectly from their own style sheetwith confidence that they will displayproperly when rendered in theFacebook iFrame. This is a bigtimesaver when trying to programpages to match a corporate brand The 520 pixel wide highly customizable area on a Facebook custom Page canwithout having to create a completely now be set up as an iFrame as Facebook is deprecating FBML.separate layout every time.2. Track pageviews with Google Analytics and other analytic Cookies?services iFrames on Pages has raised questionsIt is difficult to get the Google Analytics tracking code to work regarding cookie policy. Facebook willwithin the FBML Pages and, since the Pages are hosted on probably deal with problems as theyFacebook, standard Web traffic logs can’t capture user activity emerge. They have already stated that:for analysis. With iFrame-based Pages the custom content “although you may use aggregate analyticsresides on the page owner’s server and they can now track the for your individual Page, you must notactivity with Google Analytics and other analytics packages. combine information from any other sources to customize the users experience3. Test pages with Google Website Optimizer on your Page and may not use any information about the users interactionIFrame-based Pages also allow marketers to test page elements with your Page in any other context (such as analytics or customization across otheror whole pages using the free tool Google Website Optimizer. If Pages or websites)”you’re not sure what works on a custom Page and what doesn’t, Page 5
  9. 9. you can use Google Website Optimizer to test elements or whole pages tooptimize conversions.4. Track conversions from FacebookTypically Facebook ad respondents convert at higher rates when landing on alanding page within Facebook. This may be because Facebook users, unlikesearch engine users, are participating on Facebook to do something else — notnecessarily to respond to an ad and they are likely to be multi-tasking withinFacebook. When they do respond to an ad, they likely wanted to stay within theFacebook application and continue back to their regular business when donewith the ad’s landing page.IFrame-based tab pages now make tracking conversions from Facebook andkeeping ad respondents within the Facebook application much easier. Before,Facebook advertisers had to create a separate landing page and thank you pagein FBML — now it all just resides on your website, and within one frame onFacebook. iFrames tip: It gets a lot easier after the first page Getting the first page to display on Facebook in a custom iFrame is a bit tricky and requires a Facebook app along with a number of steps that must be carefully followed (see How to Create IFrame-Based Facebook Pages below). From that first page, however, you can just link to subsequent pages on your server and allow the user to navigate without leaving the iFrame. Any page that the user clicks on will be displayed in the iFrame and need not be registered as a Facebook app. Ideally the content should be designed to fit within the 520 pixel iFrame. If you want the user to „break out‟ of the iFrame just include the attribute target=”_blank” with the link and it can take the user completely outside of Facebook.5. Ability to use dynamic programming languagesSince the content of Facebook iFrame tab pages reside on your site they can doalmost anything that your home based pages can do. This opens up all newworlds of possibilities for pages, including using PHP, ASP, and other dynamicprogramming languages to do everything from pulling database information tousing variables. Even Flash animations can be used, as long as they don’t auto-start.6. EcommerceIf you’re an online retailer, definitely consider using iFrames for your productcontent. You can add pages for your various product lines, like “Women’sclothing” — just reformat the page on your site into a Facebook-friendlyversion. Then Facebook page visitors can order from your site directly throughthe Facebook tab. Page 6
  10. 10. How to Create IFrame-Based Facebook Pages 1. On your Facebook page, click on “Edit Page” (in upper right corner). 2. Click on “Apps” at the left hand side navigation. This will show a list of any tabs that you currently have along with other installed applications. 3. At the very bottom of the Apps page, click on “Browse More Applications”. 4. In the search box, enter “developer” to search for the Facebook Developer app. Use the smaller search box on the left and not the main Facebook search bar at the very top of the page. 5. Click on the Developer app, then select “Add to my Page” under the logo at left. A box will pop up to show which pages you can install the app on. If you do not already see your page listed there, the app is likely already installed. If your page IS listed, click on “Add to Page” (left navigation towards the bottom) to install. After you have installed the app or if it is not listed, close the pop up window and click on the “Go to App” button under the logo on the left. 6. Click on the “Set Up New App” button at the top of the page. 7. You’ll need to have a name for your page. This name will be what displays on the “tab”, so choose wisely. There should be a security captcha at this point. There are now three screens that you will need to fill out to properly set up the app. Page 7
  11. 11. 8. The About screen contains basic information about the page/app. You can upload a logo for the page and will need to add your privacy policy and terms URLs to this page. NOTE: You MUST add either a trailing slash or a ‘?’ after your URLs for privacy and terms. This is required by Facebook to submit the form.9. The Web Site screen contains information about your own company domain. NOTE: Like on the About screen, you will need to enter a trailing slash on your website URL.10. The Facebook Integration screen is where many of the setup details are entered. Canvas Page: Should be something short and memorable as part of the URL for the app you are creating. This will become the URL for the Facebook app that will appear in your iFrame. Canvas URL: The actual page on your server with the content designed to appear in the iFrame, e.g., ‘Thanks for visiting our Facebook Page’. The Canvas Page will grab this URL and place it in the iFrame. Must have the ‘/’ at the end or a ‘?’. You can also supply a secure (https) version. Page 8
  12. 12. Once you have completed these three screens, click “Save Changes”. You will be able to come back later and edit these settings as needed. 11. After saving , click on the “Application Profile Page” (right hand navigation column, 2nd item from the top) link to add the new Facebook tab page to your Facebook page. 12. Once on the Application Page, click on “Add to My Page” (left hand navigation column) to add the new content to your Facebook Page. A pop up window will appear. Click on the “Add to Page” button adjacent to your Facebook page name. 13. Go to your Facebook page. If you don’t see the new Tab Page listed under the logo, you may need to change the order. Simply click on “More” then “Edit” and drag your Tab page higher in the order to ensure it is a page that shows in the menu there by default, if you prefer 14. Preview the tab page by clicking on it. Make sure that the layout works the way you want. If it doesn’t, you can always edit your style sheet or page on your own website to ensure it fits properly. If your server refuses to display your Canvas URL and it is a .html page you can try renaming the page with a .php extension.There are creative ways to manage content so that it appears neatly within the iFrame.  Create a separate style sheet for Facebook. A separate Facebook style sheet can limit the width of my page to 500 px, set font size and line spacing to help the content fit nicely in the Facebook iFrame area.  Use a dynamic programming language such as PHP. Dynamic code can be set to display or hide certain items on Facebook. The Canvas URL can include a parameter such as ‘’ Capturing the ‘disp’ value can trigger conditional statements throughout the page to dynamically format the content for the Facebook Page. Janet Driscoll Miller is President and CEO of Search Mojo (Facebook: Search Mojo), a full service search marketing and lead generation firm headquartered in Charlottesville, VA. She is a frequent contributor to the Search Mojo Blog and can be found on Twitter @janetdmiller. Page 9
  13. 13. Chapter 3. Optimizing the Facebook Page for SearchAnn SmartySocial media and search marketing are becoming increasingly Facebook search What it does: Facebook internal searchintertwined. The number of Tweets and Likes pointing to a site can helps users find content; Google andboost its rankings in search engines. Meanwhile, Facebook itself has Bing also rank Facebook Pages. Why it matters: Pages that are wellbecome complex and Pages have become competitive in gaining defined and optimized will get higherattention. Facebook’s internal search has also become an essential tool rankings both within Facebook and on the major search engines.for attracting new eyeballs.There are two very different methodologies involved. Major search enginessuch as Google and Bing use a web link structure to analyze web authority whileFacebook is a social network that uses people, connections and theirpreferences to analyze the community.The Anatomy of Facebook SearchUsers have become well accustomed to the Google search interface: just typequery terms and click through the results (ranked by relevancy and authority).Facebook search is a bit more complicated. First of all, it has two levels.The first level is Facebook Autosuggest (also referred to as “Auto-Complete”results): just start typing your search term to get instant results right below thesearch box: Page 10
  14. 14. If the user doesn’t see what they are looking for in Autosuggest results they canclick to “See more results for…” to get to “Advanced Facebook” search resultsthat include Pages, Friends, Applications and even web results (The latter arepowered by Bing).They can also filter results by type, for example they can see only pages. Lookingat search results returned for a query, they will be able to instantly see:  Each page name;  The number of people who “liked” each page;  The category of the page.Two important points to remember about Facebook Search:  It is impossible to predict: you never know what your friends or just random users will see for any given search query. Facebook search is likely to heavily rely on connections: how “close” the user is to each page - how many of their friends Like it or even how many Friends of Friends Like it.  It relies on exact match: Change your search term just a bit to see completely different search results: for example, [blogging] versus [bloggers]: Page 11
  15. 15. Optimizing a Facebook Page for BOTH Facebook and Google/BingPage name: Page creators may feel tempted to stuff it with keywords hoping toget it ranked at least for a couple of them in the major search engines. InFacebook, however, people and connections will define page popularity, so it isbest to keep it simple, targeted and brand-specific.Key points to remember about Page name are:  The name of a Facebook Page is also its actual page title tag (this is the linked part that shows up in both Google and Facebook search).  The name is crucial because Facebook search is biased to “exact match”: your page will only have a chance to show up if it has the exact word the user types in the search box.  Rule of thumb: It is best to name your page after your brand without trying to make it too descriptive. BUT make sure to use your full name and break into the separate words, for example: “Search Engine Journal” is better than “SearchEngineJournal” (because it has a good chance to get ranked for “search” and “search engine”)The Facebook Page URL: Creating a short readable URL for a page makes itmore appealing to both people and search engines. Pages can set a custom pageURL (also referred to as “Vanity URLs”) at - aslong as the page has at least 25 Likes.The custom URL can only be set once and cannot be edited. Facebook maintainsa blacklist of restricted usernames and advises: “The selected username should clearly identify the artist or business represented by your Page. Create a username that is as close as possible to your public figure or business name”Page Category: Page owners can specify its Category and Subcategory. It willhelp the listing to be more easily identified in Facebook search results. Page 12
  16. 16. Page Info: Complete information about the page should be entered onto the“About us” box and “Info” tab to describe the business. These fields offer more“indexable” content for search engines.Facebook Page notes can be yet another good place for content relevant to yourbrand. One of the most effective ways to take advantage of page notes is to usethem to collect and publish Twitter testimonials aggregated from your TwitterFavorites.The Page Wall: A vibrant Wall is a powerful way to enrich any Facebook Pagewith fresh and relevant content. Be sure to update your regularly (at least acouple of times a week) with content about your business. It keeps the page“alive” and keeps both the search engines and the people coming back. Thesepage updates show up in both the Autosuggest and Advanced Facebook searchresults which makes the Page easier to find.Page (In-)Links: SEOs like to talk about ‘on page’ and ‘off page’ strategies. InFacebook search ‘off page’ focuses on having users Like and otherwise link toyour Page:  Facebook Like works like a “vote” for a Page. Facebook seems to use Likes to measure both page popularity and relevancy to each separate user.  The more people Like your Page, the more links there are pointing from public profiles to it (and thus the more ways search engines have to crawl it):Here’s how the external search engine “sees” the list of pages a user likes (asyou can see from the screenshot, these are direct links to the page):Another way to get a page better linked within Facebook is the new ability tobrowse Facebook as page admin (rather than as a personal profile). A Page can Page 13
  17. 17. like other pages and updates, comment and participate in discussions (alwayslinking back to your page).Facebook page search optimization is all about investing time and efforttowards creating content that can make the page useful enough for people toLike it and to discuss it with Friends. This will make both Facebook search as wellas Google/Bing take note in their rankings. As with any search project, thepurpose of your content should be as clear as possible to keep the webcrawlers, and the users, happy. Ann Smarty is a blogger and self-employed web entrepreneur. She blogs on search marketing and social media and operates, the free forum for guest bloggers and blog owners to get connected in a win- win environment. Ann blogs on Search Engine Journal and Make Use Of and can be found on Twitter @seosmarty. . Page 14
  18. 18. Chapter 4. Facebook Contests and CompetitionsBrian HonigmanUser engagement is the primary goal of every Facebook Page. A Facebook Contests & Competitions:company’s Page is a platform where they can increase overall brand What they do: Incentivize and engageawareness by listening to customers and by encouraging visitors to Facebook Pages. Why they matter: Pages runningconversation. One of the best ways to boost engagement is by contests and competitions can standhosting a contest, giveaway or sweepstakes on the Page. Following out, create buzz and collect user datathe rules and using available resources wisely can create a contest while promoting products and services.that will accomplish almost any conversion goal.Facebook’s GuidelinesFacebook actively regulates and monitors contests to protect their Even the King must obey the rules.users. They post the guidelines with a warningthat they can remove any materials related to the promotion ordisable the Page, application or account altogether if violations arefound. In short, contests must be conducted through a Facebookapp, there are limitations on what an entrant can be required toLike as a prerequisite, and new Likes cannot be automatically Probably the best known and mostentered into a contest. The guidelines spell out a list of what can controversial contest occurred in Januaryand cannot be done along with required disclaimers. 2009, back when Facebook still needed the publicity. Entrants could get a free Burger King Whopper for de-friending 10 Friends. Close to 234,000 ‘friendships’ promptly ended and user feeds made it clear as to just who was being sacrificed in exchangeDefining Goals and Conversions for 1/10th of a Whopper. While it was a great example of a business engaging their Facebook base the thought of FriendDefining goals and conversions is the next step. Without a clear connections being severed probably didn’tmarketing conversion in mind a Facebook contest can cost money sit well with Facebook. They eventually disabled the promotion. The grounds? Appsand waste effort without reaping any real benefit. Contest are not allowed to post ‘de-friending’planners should clearly define what they want users to gain from incidents.the contest while keeping in mind the specific customer behaviorsthat they wish to encourage as a result. This is a vital step towards ensuring the contest is a success.Walgreen’s Spring Has Sprung game: Accessible only throughFacebook, this Instant Win Game redirects users to Walgreen’swebsite where they can enter their email address for a chanceto win one of 250 gift cards at random. The consumer’sincentive to enter is the chance to win a free gift card, whileWalgreen’s conversion goal is gathering email addresses fromcontestants for follow-up purposes. Page 15
  19. 19. Defining Goals and ConversionsWith guidelines and user expectations in mind the next step is the actualdevelopment of the promotion within your Facebook Page. There are threeways you can develop a contest: ● Using A Third Party Application: Probably one of the easiest ways to develop and implement a promotion is by using one of the many applications, some of which are available for free. These applications offer an easy to use interface to upload photos, text and any other content pertinent to your promotion. It’s a good solution for a company with limited budgets and software development resources. With most of these applications there’s less need to worry about breaching Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines because they are built into the application (although they might not be up to date and it is still the Page owner’s responsibility to adhere to the rules). Three companies that offer do it yourself apps are Appbistro (some applications are free), Easypromos (the first promotion is free for Pages with less than 5,000 fans) and Offerpop (the promotion application is free for Pages with less than 500 fans). ● Developing Your Own Application: It can prove affordable and efficient for small to mid-sized companies to develop Facebook promotions internally. Third party apps can limit customizations while self developed apps allow for complete creative control. The iFrame option for Pages means that software developers can build contests with their own tools and only need to learn some basic Facebook integration protocol to enhance the contest using Facebook user data. ● Hiring a Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant: This can be a more expensive option but one that can give your contest the best shot at outright success. A Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant is experienced in developing Facebook integrations and has earned a stamp of approval by Facebook. These are the consultants who understand the Facebook user experience and also are best equipped to use the API to integrate your promotion with available Facebook user data for increased personalization.5 Recommendations for Facebook Contests & Competitions1. Establish Broad AppealMake sure to offer prizes that many prospects would be interesting in winning.Don’t restrict the contest by promoting an obscure item or service that mightonly interest a small segment of the audience. Page 16
  20. 20. 2. Be creativeOriginality, creativeness and nerve are going to help the promotion stand out. Aboring promotion will probably have boring results. Put yourself in the mindsetof your target market while they are using Facebook. What potential rewardwould get them to sit up and take notice?3. Strive for simplicityKeep the promotion both clean and simple. Extravagant visuals and complicatedcontest rules will overwhelm your audience, possibly losing you potentialapplicants. Entering a contest online should be easy, quick and fun. Keep this inmind throughout the implementation of your promotion.4. Go multi channelCross promote your contest through other platforms available to your brand.Share it on your website, through email marketing, print ads, word of mouth, onTV, on the radio, on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other platform you deemappropriate, including Facebook ads themselves.5. Be timelySeasonality and timing are important aspects of Facebookpromotions. Try to anticipate what is on the minds of yourtarget market right now and don’t drag things out. If thecontest is too short it may never reach enough leverage amonginterested audiences and fail, yet if it goes on too long fans willlose interest and forget what they have entered. Determine abalanced time frame for your campaign, giving it enough timeto attract buzz while also maintaining its relevance. Jack in the Box knows what their young audience is looking for in Spring. Brian Honigman is a Search Analyst at LunaMetrics. He blogs on Social Media, SEO and Marketing on LunaMetric’s Blog and on He can be followed on Twitter at @Brian_Honigman. Page 17
  21. 21. Chapter 5. Using Facebook Connect for EcommerceLinda BustosFacebook Connect was created in May 2008, allowing Facebook Facebook Connectusers to register with their Facebook identity on any site and What it does: Allows users to sign inalso providing personalization via Facebook user data. In 2010, at almost any site using their Facebook log-in.with the Facebook user base reaching the half billion mark and Why it matters: Sign-ins arethe Open Graph fueling data integration, Connect gained simplified and their volumemomentum as a sales tool on major ecommerce sites. increases; sites can personalize based on Facebook user data.According to Facebook, 30% of its users actively engage withthird party websites through Facebook Connect each month.Documentation on Facebook Connect logins can be found at .Web sites are seeing benefits from Facebook Connect in a number of ways:  Alternative to a sign up process. A logged in Facebook user can join a site with one click, authenticating his or her account using Facebook credentials.  Provide “social context” around web content and features. Users can grant permission for a Web site to post stories to their Wall, share content with one click and even share wish lists or products that they’ve purchased. Connected users can see what their friends have viewed, commented on, or reviewed at the site. This “social proof” builds trust, as people value their friends’ opinions over strangers’.  Enrich web site personalization. With access to profile data, web sites can personalize based on keywords in both the connected user’s profile and his/her social graph (gift suggestions, birthday reminders, etc).  Improve customer service communication. Folks who frequent Facebook more than their email inboxes may prefer to receive news such as product back-in-stock or shipment notifications through Facebook, especially when email inboxes are already overflowing.Facebook claims sites using Facebook Connect have seen 30% to 200% increasesin site registrations, and 15% to 100% increases in user generated content(including product reviews). For many Web users Facebook is the richest sourceof information on their interests and preferences, as they frequently shareitems with friends and are constantly updating profile data.With all of these advantages in sight ecommerce sites have still lagged behind inadapting to Connect. Information sites like TechCrunch or the Wall StreetJournal have enjoyed greater benefits from the increased content sharing. Socialnetworks like Twitter and Vimeo benefit from one-click sign up. But now someheavy hitting ecommerce sites, most notably Amazon, have taken the plungeand are being joined by innovators of all sizes. Page 18
  22. 22. How Online Retailers Are Using Facebook ConnectPersonalization – AmazonThe ‘Zon made a big splash in late 2010 when it rolled out new personalizationfeatures with Facebook Connect. By connecting to your profile and social graph,Amazon can recommend products that match the interests of you and yourfriends beyond the click stream and purchase data it has from on-site Amazonbehavior. (You can access this feature by clicking the “We haverecommendations for you” link at the top of your Amazon page.)Using the Facebook Open Graph, Amazon offers recommended products basedon the Likes of Friends, along with upcoming birthdays. They can also baserecommendations on the personal preferences expressed on Facebook.Personalization – TeavanaUsing the TurnTo application, online tea merchant Teavanaallows users to search within items that their Friends havepurchased on the site. They also can make recommendationsbased on purchases within the user’s zip code. Page 19
  23. 23. Merchandising – Levi’sLevi’s has used Facebook integration to createa specialized micro-site – The Friends Store,where they merchandize products accordingto the number of Likes received withemphasis on the user’s Friends.Facebook Connect allows visitors to view apersonalized selection of Levi’s products thattheir Friends have Liked and also rememberstheir birthdays. Unlike Amazon, Levi’s doesnot suggest products for Friends. Users areencouraged to post items to their Facebook news feed when they find aninteresting product, hopefully to start a discussion with Friends.Product Pages – Jansport Jansport encourages product reviews and uses the Fluid Social application to socially network its product pages. Connected users can filter reviews down to their Friends’ contributions or the reviews that they’ve liked. They can also invite friends to chat right on about the product. Retailers obviously have to consider scale – what is the likelihood that a user will have a Friend who has reviewed a specific product? Even without significant Friend activity there are other aspects of Facebook Connect that can still help; for example users who do comment on a product can post it on their Facebook wall and they can invite Friends to help them decide on a purchase.Post-Purchase – NikeIn 2007 Facebook Beacon turned Facebook users into product evangelists byposting their online purchases to their Wall. Facebook neglected to ask for userpermission first which resulted in one of their early privacy nightmares. It was apowerful concept, however, and today Nike uses Facebook Connect to do verymuch the same thing, only with user permission this time. Page 20
  24. 24. Photo Credit: Digital OperativeNike waits until the sale is complete before they ask for permission so that theydon’t interrupt the checkout process and risk an abandoned cart.This feature is on-point with Nike’s customizable product line. Customers whodesign a custom pair of shoes are more likely to want to share their purchasedetails, as building the shoe is a personal activity and a reflection ofindividuality.Groupon is another site that offers post-purchase evangelism. Again, this makessense for their business model – the daily deal is something local friends mayget excited about.Is Facebook Connect Right For Your Online Selling?One-click Facebook Connect sign-up eliminates virtually all friction in theregistration process (apart from the anxiety over privacy). Most Facebook usersare perpetually logged in, or they log in frequently enough so that their logininfo is committed to memory.There are pitfalls for online retailers, however. Facebook Connect cannotreplace the account creation process if you require complete and accurateinformation. You are restricted to their Facebook profile data and furtherrestricted by their privacy settings. It may prove difficult to collect custom datafields helpful to your business.The personalization features are extremely powerful but most retailers have tobe realistic about the overlap between their user base and the user’s Facebooknetwork.Rather than build a feature that relies simply on Friends’ activity, a site canemulate Amazon and find ways to leverage existing customer data. Take cues Page 21
  25. 25. from keywords in Friends’ profile data to recommend products for theConnected user and gift ideas.7 Recommendations for Facebook Connect1. Location, location, location. Timing, timing, timing.Introduce Facebook Connect at the right place and time. Avoid using those pop-up window requests that are commonly used for customer surveys and emailsign ups. It’s not just because users hate pop-up windows more than waiting inline at the passport office. If prompted too early, they may decline the request,then not know how to get it back when they decide they want to connect. Instead, use a passive call to action placed where it makes most sense toconnect. For example, the product reviews section, account creation page,community areas/features, or post-purchase.2. Presentation, presentation, presentation.Because Facebook Connect is a call to action, it can compete with your defaultCTAs. You want your Facebook Connect button to get noticed, but not createconfusion or dwarf other options on the page.3. Spell it out.Make sure you address these FUDs (fears, uncertainties and doubts):  What happens when I connect?  What data is shared between Facebook and your site?  Is it easy to disconnect?  What is the benefit of connecting?4. Take only what you need.The Facebook Connect dialog box will disclose exactly which Facebook data youwill be accessing. It can create a formidable barrier. Like a web form, ask foronly the information that you will need. Page 22
  26. 26. 5. Make it easy to unplug.Provide a clear link for control of Facebook Connect status and the point-of-action assurance that users can reconnect at any time.6. Respect privacy.Facebook users have been subjected to some serious privacy gaffes in the pastand many are rightfully suspicious. Keep this in mind and assure them that youwill value and protect the privacy of your visitors and customers7. Be a star performer.Performance is important. Scripts that slow down a user’s browser are a surefire way to get “disconnected.” Implementation should be smooth and bug-free. Linda Bustos is the Director of Ecommerce Research with Elastic Path Software and is the author of the Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog (Facebook: GetElastic). She also is an online retailer herself, launching Robin Hood Couture, a line of handmade jewelry for sale on Etsy. Page 23
  27. 27. Chapter 6. Facebook Location Based Marketing – Places & DealsJeff EnteThe rapid adoption of GPS equipped smart phones in late 2009 Facebook Places & Deals:and early 2010 led to tremendous interest in socially oriented What they do: Businesses can establishlocation based marketing. Startups such as Foursquare and their physical location as a Facebook Place, encourage Check-ins andGowalla were already getting solid attention when, on April 20, incentivize through Deals.2010 (one day before Facebook announced the Open Graph), Why they matter: Check-ins and Deals can be posted to a user’s newsfeed;Google Places was introduced. Deals can be used to encourage trial, reward loyalty and offer viral exposure.Facebook’s response didn’t come until August 18. Facebook Places, complete with Foursquare style Check-ins,brought location awareness to the world’s largest social network.The Facebook iPhone app was updated for Check-ins and owners ofother smart phones could check in through the mobile browser Either way, Facebook users could now posttheir location to their newsfeed, tag nearby Friends and call up a listof other users who had checked into the same location.To participate in Places a business needs to search for their nameon Facebook from an equipped mobile phone, add it if not found,and then stake their ‘Claim’ by clicking on an ‘Is this your business?’link.Facebook DealsPlaces had some interesting features but it was obvious that Facebook had tocreate a stronger motivation for people to use it. On November 2 FacebookDeals was announced to provide both financial and altruistic motivations. AfterCheck-in a list of nearby Places appears and any Place offering a Deal ishighlighted. Four variations of Deals were created:  Individual: The user simply needs to accept the Deal and show the screen to the merchant to receive their incentive (usually a discount or free merchandise).  Friend: Multiple users must combine forces to receive the incentive.  Loyalty: Incentives are provided to a single user for recurring behavior.  Charity: Donations are made on behalf of the user. Page 24
  28. 28. Facebook has rolled out Deals slowly starting with 22 merchants, updates are posted Instructions for creating a Deal can be found made another key change when they announced Deals. Developers were giventhe ability to build Facebook apps that could Check-in on behalf of their owners. A Check-inwas required before a Deal could be offered so it made sense that Facebook would want theprocess to be as automatic as possible.Combining Deals with EventsThe original 22 retail partners were quick to experiment with Deals. Chipotleoffered two entrees for the price of one, The Palms Hotel gave out free roomupgrades or extra nights and the San Francisco 49ers sold tickets to futuregames for the discount price of $49. Most notably, The Gap gave away freejeans to the first 10,000 people who accepted the Deal (although in practice the10,000 had to be pre allocated to each participating location).Although Facebook Events were originally conceived of as a single location gettogether they have since been adopted by retailers as a home base to createextra excitement and to publicize their deals. In late March 2011 Facebookstarted testing the ability for users to Check-in directly to an Event, no Placeneeded, further blurring the relationship between Places and Events.Using Deals WiselyGroupon’s business model has been criticized by some retailers for bringing inlow margin traffic that is price sensitive and not very loyal. Deals could face thesame issues but the Facebook environment suggests that they could be used asa familiar electronic greeter that remembers good customers and always hassomething that will interest them. Deals still require a Check-in (although it iseasy to envision them being pushed automatically when a user approaches alocation). They could be a great involvement device – users should want toCheck-in to see what is going on today, developing a relationship with anestablishment as an active part of their daily Facebook experience. Page 25
  29. 29. Chapter 7. Facebook CommentsJeff EnteFacebook announced a significant upgrade to their Comments plug- Facebook Comments:in on March 1, 2011. Web sites can now offer a robust platform for What they do: Provide (via plug-in) auser comments by pasting in a very short snippet of HTML: robust commenting platform using Facebook’s Open Graph. <div id="fb-root"></div> Why they matter: Any user currently <script src=""></script> signed in via Facebook is also signed in <fb:comments href="YOUR_CANONICAL_URL"></fb:comments> for the commenting system; their comments can be shared on their wallFacebook Comments have been around for awhile and even with the creating additional exposure.upgrade it isn’t at all certain that they are a better option than thesector leader, DISQUS. The Facebook system does have some powerfuladvantages as well as some negatives that bear watching:  No additional sign in required. If the user is currently signed into Facebook their comment box is automatically presented and accompanied by their profile image.  Exposure on Facebook. The comment box has a pre-checked box providing the option of having it posted to the user’s news feed where it effectively acts as a share. Friends can then add a follow-up comment directly through the feed and it will by synced and displayed back on the original site (this may not be obvious to some users who could therefore be surprised that their wall postings are being distributed outside of Facebook).  Social relevance/filtering. Comments are sorted using the Open Graph so that posts by Friends and then friends of Friends will be presented first, followed by the most heavily Liked comments. If a user has been previously banned or if they use a blacklisted word their comments will be visible only to themselves and to their networks. They might not even realize that they have been banned.  Use of Facebook profiles. Users post as their Facebook profiles which could promote more civilized discussions but it also obstructs comments that have a valid reason for anonyminity. Significantly, Facebook Page admins can post as their Page, giving the exposure to their Page instead of to themselves.  Limited integration. Facebook controls the list of other 3rd party commenting logins that can be integrated for non-Facebook users or for those who don’t wish to comment as the Facebook profile.  Restricted styling. Unlike DISQUS and other systems designers cannot customize the comment box using CSS. Facebook restricts the look and feel of the comment system to the light and dark gray options consistent with their other plugins.  Availability. If Facebook is blocked (as in some offices) the Comment system will be as well. Page 26
  30. 30. Chapter 8. Advertising on FacebookKelly GilleaseFacebook’s audience has continued to grow at a remarkable pace. Facebook advertising What it does: Allows targeting onAccording to Hitwise, it has become the most highly visited site on the Facebook pages by demographics,Web, edging out even Google. Marketers naturally find it irresistible, interests and connections.not only for its sheer reach but for the viral capabilities that it provides Why it matters: Still in their infancy, Facebook ads are likely to become aas well. Facebook offers marketers a lot of free interaction tools but, major component of Facebook’sfor obvious reasons, it is expected to emphasize paid advertising as an monetization strategy affecting theeffective means to communicate with its user base. growth and popularity of Pages, Facebook commerce and branding.Step 1: Determine Campaign GoalsLike any online campaign, there’s a variety of goals and purposes that Facebookads can address. Step 1 is to determine the goals upfront for the campaigns.Many marketers are running Facebook ads to promote their social mediamarketing efforts by promoting a Facebook Page or Group. There’s nothingwrong with setting a goal related to social media but Facebook can also be usedto attain more traditional campaign goals (direct sales, site traffic) through itsadvertising program.Marketers should choose their goals carefully and then keep campaigns withdifferent goals distinct. For optimal results a social media campaign will needdifferent ad texts, URLs, calls to action and probably spend levels compared to amore traditional online marketing campaign. Don’t mix them together if youdecide to market via Facebook ads for both.Step 2: Create AdsFor Facebook ads that link to a non-Facebook page, follow the now tried andtrue best practice of using tracking parameters in URLs (or another method oftracking) as you would for any online marketing. Another best practice forFacebook ads is to include an image. Click-through rate is much higher for adswith images than for those that are text only. Otherwise rotate and test multipleads as you would for search engine marketing to see what works best.Step 3: Set the TargetingFacebook’s strongest advertising assets are its robust targetingoptions. Besides location, demographic and language targeting there’salso a huge set of Likes, interests and connections that should beexplored and tested. Traditional keywords come into play for Likes and interests targeting.Explore keywords that are relevant to your site, but also explorecompetitor or related brand names that would also be of interest toyour target audience. For example, if advertising for Dell computers,you probably also want to target people who are interested in Facebook provides ad planners withGateway, HP, and other related brands as well as generic terms like running counts of estimated reach based“computers” or “laptops”. Take note of Facebook’s keyword on their targeting criteria. Page 27
  31. 31. suggestions from the drop down list that appears as you type; they can provideadditional ideas.Connections provide some of Facebook’s most interesting targeting options.Advertisers can target profiles that are connected to a Group or Page (of whichyou are an Admin), which is a great way to market to an already brand awareaudience of the most loyal and interested customers/prospects. The opposite,but equally compelling, feature is to exclude this audience by targeting onlythose Facebook profiles which are not already connected to your group or Page.If your campaign goals are to generate new customers or Likes/followers thisfeature will help narrow the focus of your campaign to just new prospects.Facebook seems to have removed the option of “Targeting Friends ofConnections” which helped narrow focus further to those profiles which areFriends of people connected to your group or page, and therefore possibly amore relevant audience for your offering. Help documentation still exists onFacebook to support this targeting feature, so perhaps it may return at somefuture point.Step 4: Even the Ads Have Social MediaNever missing a social media opportunity, evenFacebook ads themselves can be Liked. It may pay toencourage Likes of a Facebook ad. Facebook is terriblyvague on what exactly the number of Likes will do: “Wewill then take this feedback into account as we continueto improve our advertising systems for all advertisersand users”. One suspicion is that more Likes could leadto increased ad serving via a process similar to GoogleAdWords’ Quality Score. So, encouraging friends andfans to Like the ad, if that is realistic given your targeting,may help an ad’s success and possibly affect future With a high ticket item to sell, Chrysler uses ads to sendcampaigns as well. traffic to its Page for further engagement. It also gets an opportunity to prove its popularity through a Like counter.Step 5: Manage expectations and measureBefore diving into numbers set the expectation that Facebook ads are a lotmore like banner or display campaigns than search engine marketingcampaigns; don’t set your sights on Facebook ads generating response numberscomparable to a SEM click-through or conversion rate. Facebook click-throughrates are generally lower and conversion rates can also be low. Someadvertisers are a great fit for Facebook and see wild success, others aredisappointed with the results when compared to stronger, more traditionaldirect marketing channels. Marketers need to immerse themselves in theFacebook environment and test strategies that take advantage of the highlyengaging social environment that Facebook seems to create.Be sure to establish a baseline level of performance for the organic amount of Likes andother Facebook behaviors that normally occur without Facebook advertising. Measuringsocial media metrics is trickier as the traditional URL or analytics tracking is often notavailable. Establishing baseline performance upfront can help isolate increase trends for Page 28
  32. 32. Sponsored Stories which the Facebook ads are likely responsible. Also avoid other large social media campaigns while testing Facebook ad campaigns run as their influences can overlap. Branding is another success measurement for Facebook advertising. There’s no denying that Facebook is a highly trafficked site and one that many marketers feel they strategically cannot ignore. No one wants to see their competitors gain share in the Facebook space, even if the channel isn’t yet a critical driver of direct sales.Facebook began experimenting with a Because click-through rates are low and pricing is costnew category of advertising in January.Advertisers can pay to prominently re- per click, there are tons of free impressions beingpost updates from Friends who have generated for an advertiser. Arguably all these freeeither posted a keyword, interacted advertising impressions bring along a brand awarenesswith an app, Checked-in or Liked benefit.something. The ad is located to theright of the news feed. There has beensome feedback from users surprised to Start Nowsee their Friend’s actions turned intoads and the process probably doesn’tFacebook advertising is still a new and evolving ad space.scale down very well below the Start now. Getting in on a new channel early alwaysStarbucks, Red Bulls and Victoria seems to give an advertiser an edge in the onlineSecrets of the Facebook world. advertising space. Having experience, established best practices and accounts with history all pay off in the longrun when the channel really becomes critical. Also the ability to access new beta featuresand learn about changes early is a clear advantage. The possibilities for Facebook ads’ futureevolution are incredible, and something no advertiser will want to miss. Kelly Gillease is VP Marketing for Viator. She blogs at and can be found on Twitter @kellpickles. . Page 29
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